Former Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Deputy Director Sentenced To 37 Months In Prison For Wire Fraud And Money Laundering
Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Nashville Field Office announced today that United States District Judge Susan Webber Wright sentenced Remmele Mazyck, 34, formerly of Bryant, to 37 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release. Mazyck was also ordered to pay $482,671.93 in restitution to the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL).
During the sentencing hearing today, Mazyck acknowledged responsibility for the theft and apologized to the ASL for his actions and the impact they had on the ASL. The ASL Director, Bishop Woosley, spoke regarding the impact of the actions taken by Mazyck on the ASL stating that, ultimately, it was scholarships for students that were affected by the scheme. Mazyck was released on his own recognizance after the hearing. He is to report to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on January 6, 2014, to begin serving his sentence.
“I am grateful for the cooperation of the Arkansas State Lottery and the investigative team of IRS agents and Arkansas State Police detectives for their work, which resulted in a successful prosecution,” stated Thyer. “We are committed to addressing issues of fraud and public corruption in the Eastern District of Arkansas. The success of this mission would not be possible without the law enforcement partnerships we have at all levels – federal, state and local.”
“Public officials hold positions of trust in the community, that trust is broken when officials use their positions to line their own pockets," said Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division. "No matter what your position, it is unacceptable to help yourself to other people's money and violate their trust. Individuals who engage in this type of financial fraud should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable.”
Mazyck pled guilty July 12, 2013, to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. As Deputy Director of Security for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, Mazyck had access to packages of promotional lottery tickets, which the lottery routinely gave away at large-scale events such as festivals, fairs, and retailer rallies. Beginning in or about December 2009 through October 2012, Mazyck took lottery tickets from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery vendor’s warehouse for his personal use. He would assign the tickets to retailers no longer selling tickets, and then use his position as Deputy Director of Security to log into the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery’s software program to change the tickets from “Available-Virgin” to “Promotional.” This change activated the tickets and allowed Mazyck to cash any winning tickets. To hide the scheme, Mazyck would only cash winning tickets of less than $500. This allowed Mazyck to cash his winning tickets at convenience stores all over Arkansas. He then would go into the software program and change the status of all the losing tickets to “Voided by Security.”
This investigation was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Arkansas State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Cameron McCree and Jana Harris have prosecuted this case for the United States.